Young farmers have increased in Kentucky, according to census

Ag census shows increase in young farmers in Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - You don’t have to drive far in Kentucky before you see a farm. Whether it’s livestock or crops, agriculture is a significant part of the state’s economy.

Ben Able and his wife, Bree Pearshall, own Rootbound Farm in Oldham County.

“We’re going into our sixth growing season here,” Able said, “growing organic vegetables and raising grassfed certified organic lamb.”

Able didn't grow up in a traditional farming family, but he always loved the outdoors.

“Growing up I have a lot of fond memories of spending time in the garden with my parents,” he said. “I think that certainly planted the seeds of enjoying getting my hands dirty and working with plants, harvesting food.”

That, plus the ability to have a positive impact on the environment through good agricultural practices and land stewardship, led Able to pursue farming.

According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, the number of young farmers in Kentucky have increased. Able and his wife fall into that category.

“Young folks, especially this generation are entrepreneurial, really self-driven,” Able said. “I think we’re seeing now in agriculture it’s not just a couple of commodities as options. There’s organic produce, there’s locally grown, there’s grassfed lamb and grassfed beef, pastured poultry. Even hemp is coming along.”

According to Able, the number of opportunities that are proving themselves to be profitable are why we are seeing more young farmers in Kentucky.

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